242 Calling All Smokers

Based on research by: Zhu, Shu Hong, Stretch, Vincent, Balabanis, Mark, Rosbrook, Bradley, Sadler, Georgia, & Pierce, John P. (1996). Written by Mara Rowcliffe, MS

Are you or a loved one trying to quit smoking?  Did you know that counseling by telephone might help?

University of California Psychology researchers evaluated the effectiveness of telephone counseling on quitting cigarette smoking. They randomly divided 3,000 smokers interested in quitting into 3 groups: one received a self-help quit kit, one a quit kit plus one telephone counseling session that encouraged quitting with skills, and one a quit kit with the encouraging quitting session plus five telephone counseling sessions.

However, 25% of the participants dropped out of the study. But results showed both groups who got telephone counseling demonstrated higher abstinence rates at 12 months than the self-help only group. Abstinence rates were 15% for the self-help group, 20% for the single session group, and 27% for the six-session group, nearly doubling the rate of the kit alone. The counseling consisted of developing the client’s self-confidence in quitting, motivation, coping strategies for difficult situations, and relapse prevention skills. Additional sessions identified and augmented effective strategies and encouraged a new nonsmoker self-image.

So, if you want to quit smoking, increase your success. Consult an expert to give you valuable strategies just for your particular needs.


Zhu, S. H., Stretch, V., Balabanis, M., Rosbrook, B., Sadler, G., & Pierce, J. P. (1996). Telephone counseling for smoking cessation: effects of single-session and multiple-session interventions. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 64(1), 202.

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